Visiting Paris a few weeks after the trip to New York felt, in a way, as if I had seen both sides of the coin. Because the two worlds apart but in many ways, they mirror, complement and look up to each other; the vast ocean between them acting as a link rather than a divider.
I’d dare go as far as to claim that even the language barrier (yes, really …!) is being overcome, in a steady albeit slow pace: contrary to common misconceptions, French is increasingly spoken in New York (at least in Manhattan, from personal encounters). Whether by expats or second generation New Yorkers with connections to parts of the francophone world, this should not come as a surprise given the number of schools and French-English bilingual programmes on offer.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Parisians do appreciate the effort in trying to speak French, but once they sense struggle or catch a couple of R’s rolling too many (the absolute Non-Non), they will helpfully switch to English, which they actually speak very well – and don’t let them pretend otherwise!
So, while everyone else is raving about the differences between Paris and New York, why don’t we take a look at some of the features they have in common? Those parts of the daily city life that, for all their differences look charmingly, morphologically similar?
Starting with the most celebrated of them all; symbol of alliance, masterpiece of monumental art and engineering, beacon of hope and promise of a better life, welcoming millions of immigrants to the United States, since 1886.
”Liberty Enlightening the World”
was Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s name for his gift to the United States from the people of France
There are four ”Liberties” in Paris; this bronze is at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
If you’d like to know more about the Ladies, their whereabouts and history, jump over to Theadora’s magnificent blog ”Paris: People, Places and Bling” and treat yourself to a bite of Embracing Lady Liberty! C’est délicieux!
Rivers, Bridges & Boats
Next, we should go shopping… What do you thing?
Photo sequence: first photo or set from New York, second from Paris.
Photo credits: Shared (Konstantinos & Lia)
New York, June 2014
Paris, August 2014